Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
I think the thing that confuses most vegetable gardeners is knowing which vegetables to plant and when. Which vegetables to plant depends on time of year, individual preferences, and cost. If you know which vegetables you like to eat, you know which vegetables to plant! So, we're already mid-way through November in the U. You could be planting broad beans now, to over-winter and to grab a march on spring-sown crops next year. You could also be planting some over-wintering (aka Japanese) onions for an early crop in 2012. But for most of us, that's it now until the spring. For the next few months it's time to order your seed catalogues and curl up in front of the fire choosing which vegetables to plant next year!
OK, I promised you this a few weeks ago, and true to type I failed! But now is the time to be planting garlic, because garlic thrives on a couple of months exposure to sub-zero temperatures. It's what helps the individual cloves to form. You can but from garden centres or online, but, with the latter, beware: often the seed catalogue comanies don't ship their orders untilafter Chruistmas, which is often too late. There are two types of garlic hardneck - which produces a rigid stem and flower - and softneck (which doesn't). Hardneck stores better but is a bit more difficult to get hld of from garden centres etc. Dig and weed your patch first (eek!!) and plant about half an inch below the surface, with the pointy end upwards. You should have some green shoots by Christmas.
Monday, 3 October 2011
Ok, relax, we're not talking double digging here. But it is the time to dig your veg plot, to harvest anything left from the summer, to look after anything in the soilwhich you plan to over-winter, to plant anything which you want to over-winter (tip: get your garlic and japanese onions in in October - garlic needs at least a couple of months of sub-zero temperatures to mature properly, so start looking in garden centres for seed. Catalogues have a better variety, but sometimes are tardy in delivering - I'll post separately on this shortly. Dig over the plot(s) which are to be left until next spring, and then dig something in. I would recommend some kind of manure - if you can't get horse manure (well-rotted) then there are several proprietary brands on the market (some of these are a bit costly). And look around for spent mushroom compost. This is relatively cheap and gives good structure to your soil. Then cover it with weed-supressing fabric and you@ll find you need to do far less weeding in the spring. I resisted this one for years through laziness but guess what?? It works!
Friday, 30 September 2011
Hi all, welcome to The Underachieving Gardener. Slightly tongue-in-cheek, it's aimed at people like me - and you - who don't have the time, or always the energy, to garden fanatically, but like the idea of growing stuff to eat, subscribe to all the right ideas about eating healthily, local food, reducing foodmiles etc etc, but who want to garden with a "good enough is good" mentality. If double digging is not for you, read on...